Rapper who lost half his skull in cannabis lab blast is paying for mistake

A rapper who lost chunks of his skull in a drugs lab blast said his "huge mistake" has left him looking "like a monster."

Niko Brenner – who makes music under the name Dr. Knarf admitted he is now "paying the price" for his actions after he was thrown through the window of his basement studio when bottles of butane gas exploded while he cooked cannabis oil.

The 37-year-old's head was so severely injured that surgeons had to remove half of his skull.

Brenner, from Cologne, Germany suffered four strokes and was left paralysed on one side. He now relies on a wheelchair and a walking aid.

He was left with burns to 40% of the surface of his skin and has had nearly 50 surgeries since the explosion in February 2017.

There isn't enough scalp for doctors to reinsert a skull bone replacement and efforts to expand the skin have failed.

The musician, whose condition was life-threatening at one point, said: "People think that the doctors took away half of my brain, but fortunately that's not the case."

But the father said one of the worst things is knowing he will never be able to climb a tree with his six-year-old son as he recalled seeing his reflection for the first time.

"It was an absolute shock. I looked like a monster. My son was one year old at the time. I was terrified that he would even recognise me."

He added: "It saddens me not to be able to play the guitar, piano and keyboards anymore."

The horrifying situation left the rapper in financial trouble with hospital costs amounting to 250,000 euros (£212,741) forcing him to file for bankruptcy.

He is also threatened with trial for trading in narcotics and negligently causing an explosive blast.

Brenner said: "I made a huge mistake, drove my whole life up against the wall – and I'm paying the price for it.

"Giving up is not an option, you have to keep going somehow."

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